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Lavender (Flowers)

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      20.02.2007 04:29
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      A fantasic smelling plant that has many uses

      This is one of my most favourite plants, not only is it beautiful smelling I think it looks a very good.

      Nothing better to me in the summer is to have planted lavender near the path and every time someone walks past it gives a great aroma.

      Lavender - Lavandula - Hardy Evergreen Perennial

      ***The Plant***

      Lavender is native to the Mediterranean islands, India and the Canary Islands, but is now cultivated in all over the world. It likes well drained soil and prefers warm and sunny climates.

      The Romans used Lavender in there bath water, Lavender comes from the Latin "lava" which means to wash.

      The Romans introduced Lavender to Britain and the monks cultivated it in there monastery gardens. The Romans also noted the fragrance and its power to heal stiff joints and relieve tiredness. The French grow huge fields of Lavender for the perfume trade, which has been done for over 300 year.

      There are lots of species of Lavender from common, dwarf, and white Lavender to name a few.

      Most Lavender grows between 12 inches in height for the Dwarf variety to 3 foot for the Lavender seal variety.

      ***Cultivation***

      Quite easy to grow, seeds should be sown in the autumn on the surface of either a seed tray or a big pot and cover with perlite.

      Germination is pretty quick if bought indoors, winter the seedling in a cold frame or greenhouse or even a conservatory with ventilation.

      In the spring prick out and pot on in multi purpose compost, let the young plants establish a good root ball before planting out in early summer.

      Cutting's can be taken but need to be taken from non flowering stems in the spring, and root in multi purpose compost.

      Lavender suffers from cuckoo spit insect, the best way to get rid of it is to spray the foam away from the plant, then use a horticulture liquid soap.

      There is a fungus Lavender can get called "Phoma lavandulae" which attacks the stems causing wilting and death to the stem, the only way to get rid of this is to dig the plant up and destroy it.

      Lavender can be grown in containers.

      ***Harvesting***

      Gather the flowers just as they open, and dry on open trays or by hanging them up in small bunches, the leaves can be picked anytime to be used fresh.

      ***Medicinal***

      Throughout history Lavender has been used and it's even more in demand an essential oil.

      The oil is used to prevent vertigo and fainting. Its great for burns and stings, and it has strong antibacterial properties which help to heal cuts; the oil also kills diphtheria and typhoid.

      Add 6 drops to bath water if you feel irritable and need of a good sleep.

      Rub 1 drop of the oil on the temple for a headache relief.

      ***Culinary***

      Lavender has a few uses in the kitchen, use the flowers to flavour jelly or make a tea, even cakes. You can also make some very nice Lavender biscuits

      ***Lavender biscuits***

      100grams Butter
      50 grams Caster sugar
      175 grams Self raising flour
      2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped leaves
      1 teaspoon of Lavender flowers removed from the spike

      Cream the sugar and butter together until light.
      Add the flour and the Lavender leaves to the butter mixture.
      Knead well until it forms a dough.
      Gently roll the dough out on a lightly floured board.
      Scatter the Lavender flowers on the dough and lightly press in using the rolling pin.
      Cut the dough into small rounds with a pastry cutter.

      Place the biscuits on a greased baking tray and bake in a hot oven 230oC for about for 10-12 minutes until golden and firm.

      Remove at once and place on a wire tray to cool.

      ***Other Uses***

      Rub the fresh flowers onto the skin or clothes to deter flies.

      Use the flower to make a potpourri or even a herb pillow, place this in the wardrobe on clothes drawer to ward of moths.

      ***WARNING***

      Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender

      As with all herbal medicine do your researches before you use it

      Thanks for reading my reviews, and thankyou for rating them.

      Tashi Delek (May everything be well)

      enlightened_one © 2007

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